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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Penny-wise and pound foolish... or perhaps, just plain foolish

Cobb County's Republican Party has a history of being communications-challenged. Back in 2000, the party's Web site was amateurish, being long-winded and overloaded with elephant icons. In subsequent years, the site was simplified and then complicated, but the goal was always to get information through the site to the party's members.

Then a new regime was elected in 2007, and all hell broke loose. First, the party left vacant the party's traditional domain,, and put in its place their campaign domain, This violated one of the core principals of communications -- never, ever date your communications so that you can use them any time you choose, regardless of when you need them. That's why you see candidates reusing their yard signs year after year; they're cutting down on a basic campaign expense by leaving the signs as generic as possible. But here was the county's party leaders -- supposedly the leader of Cobb's Republican efforts -- blowing apart a basic tenet of communication.

In exchange for the professionally designed sites of the past, we got the 2000-era amateurish design that placed as much information as possible on the front page. This violates another tenet that says that your home page should be a launching point for your information, but should not overload your visitors with too much reading material. No worry, though, the new county chairman and his crew had things well in hand. The chairman told me as much immediately following his election when he dismissed my concerns about communication by saying, "We have people who will take care of that."

This is how those people take care of things? The dated domain has now changed again -- to Pardon? Hey folks, aren't we now in 2009? Will we now register another domain and come up with You know, those domains do cost money -- so why not just stick with And why not let someone design the Web site who actually knows what one is. I'm sure there are a number of Republicans in Cobb County who would volunteer their services in order to help the party.

Just take a look at what some other county Republican parties are doing and compare their efforts with Cobb's.

Google things like "Gwinnett GOP," "DeKalb GOP" and "Fulton GOP" and see where their Web sites fall in the search engine listing. All of those parties' sites fall at the top of the rankings; Cobb GOP's site can only be found after scrolling through the listings -- so the reader must know what they're looking for.

Of course, this is the same crew that would load its entire party into a park's exhibit hall -- little more than a big barn -- for its mass precinct meetings. Even with the heating capabilities the park lists, I doubt that these facilities would do too well with days like we'll have on Thursday and Friday (with highs in the teens). They'd better hope for warmer weather in February -- traditionally an even colder month. Nothing like showing your appreciation to your core supporters by making them feel like cattle. Perhaps for refreshments they can provide alfalfa cubes.

The bottom line is that the Cobb GOP's current regime has an enormous lack of appreciation for what it takes to communicate a message to its constituents, and perhaps simply a lack of appreciation for those constituents. Go ahead and do the research yourself -- look and see if this party has a mark of excellence on the things that it presents to its supporters and to the world. Tell me that you'd want this crew to handle communications for your business, church, synagogue or even your garden club. And then ask yourself, why are they handling the organization of the political assets of what should be the most powerful Republican county in Georgia?

1 comment:

Dr. Cindye said...

Wow- I see you have a real vision for this. I would like to see your talent go to good use.